Getting closer to Christmas
Experience the magic of Christmas and the atmosphere that will surround you during your stay on our peninsula, while you walk through the streets and visiting numerous events dedicated to Christmas. Spend the Christmas holidays in Istria and find out more about our gastronomic tradition in restaurants, taverns and agritourisms all over the peninsula.
Past is intertwined with the present at each step and as well as in gastronomy of Istria. Meals that used to be prepared for Christmas can still be found on the today's Christmas menu although some changes were added.
As part of Christmas tradition, people ate a slice of bread and drank a glass of brandy for the Christmas Day breakfast while for lunch people usually ate some walnuts, a slice of wheat bread and drank a glass of wine. The dinner was prepared depending to the part of Istria which offered different specialties. It offered following dishes: pasutice (homemade pasta) or fuži (homemade pasta) with salted sardines, cod and cabbage, pasutice (homemade pasta) with the cod stew, chickpea stew , pea stew, barley and potatoes stew, bread and wine. The Istrian pastry, fritule (homemade pastry) and kroštule (homemade pastry) have also been prepared and a soup has been prepared on the hearth in some parts of Istria.
In some parts of Istria log or stump were brought on the Christmas Eve and it was supposed to burn continuously, or a little bit every day until the Epiphany. People would put on it a little bit of each type of food they would eat for dinner on Christmas Eve and would put a little bit of wine so that a New Year would be better and richer. The front doors were decorated with wreaths of ivy in some parts of Istria.
After dinner and before going to the Midnight Mass, people were having fun with different games, as well as with singing Christmas songs. After returning from the Midnight Mass, people ate fritule (homemade pastry) and drank a glass of brandy.
The Christmas lunch was prepared depending to the part of Istria which offered different specialties. The Christmas menu offered chicken soup with fidelini (homemade pasta), Fuži (homemade pasta) with chicken stew, cooked sour cabbage with mutton and roast chicken with cabbage. For dessert there were pastry made of minced walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts with dried raisins, pastry with cheese and raisins, walnut loaf, fritule (homemade pastry) and kroštule (homemade pastry). People ate for dinner all the food which had been left from the lunch.
Christmas was traditionally congratulated on St. Stephen's Day, the last day of the year or on the New Year's Day in some parts of Istria. Children would receive gifts, usually walnuts, apples or nuts.
We wish You a Merry Christmas!